A Decision about Giving Writing Advice

My wife and I’ve had the following conversation about a dozen times since I started this blog:

Wife: Why don’t you ever post about writing?

Me: I do. I talk about The Sorrows, House of Skin, The Darkest

Wife: That’s not what I mean. I mean writing. I mean how to write and how to get published. That’s what a lot of people want to know.

Me: Yeah, but who am I to talk about that stuff?

And around we go. Basically, the reason I haven’t shared any of my thoughts about writing and getting published is primarily that I don’t want it to seem like I think I’m an expert. Because I don’t. At all.

Jack Ketchum. Yep, you should listen to him.
Jack Ketchum. Yep, you should listen to him.

Stephen King is qualified to talk about writing. Jack Ketchum is qualified too. Joe R. Lansdale, Larry McMurtry, and Joyce Carol Oates are incredible authors as well, so I’d definitely consider them qualified. I’d listen to Cormac McCarthy give advice about writing. I’d sit in awestruck joy while J.K. Rowling talked about…well, anything. And hearing Elmore Leonard explain his thoughts on the craft would be like hearing Greg Maddux talk about how to outsmart a hitter.

Yeah, those people I’d listen to. But me? Are you nuts? Wifey, are you reading this?

Having said all those things, I’m about to break my silence on the aforementioned topics. No, this isn’t going to transform into a how-to blog or a so-called blueprint for how to get published. But yeah, I’ve got a few thoughts on those matters, and I’ve decided to share them from time to time.

J.K. Rowling? Yeah, you BETTER listen to her.
J.K. Rowling? Yeah, you BETTER listen to her.

But there’s only one condition. Are you ready?

My condition is that you don’t start seeing me as a pompous know-it-all. What do you mean, you already do?! Then get the hell out of here!

Kidding. Mostly. But I do want everyone to know that I offer my thoughts humbly, unaffectedly, and that I don’t consider myself a master of anything. Except maybe Thomas the Train voices. I do rock those. And I fully intend—if I get famous someday—to join Alec Baldwin, George Carlin, and Ringo Starr in the illustrious line of Sodorian narrators. You just wait until I drop my Gordon impression on you. You think you’ve heard Gordon before? I’ll show you Gordon.

And I’ll share some thoughts on writing and publishing. Soon.

And Elmore Leonard. If you don't listen to him, I might drive to your house. With Elmore riding shotgun.
And Elmore Leonard. If you don’t listen to him, I might drive to your house. With Elmore riding shotgun.

Have a good night!


6 thoughts on “A Decision about Giving Writing Advice

  1. Hmmm, you had me at rocking the Thomas the Tank Engine voices, man! Personally, I can do a mean Dora the Explorer…just sayin’…


    1. Whoa, between the two of us we could create a traveling show. I’m good at “The Map Song” and “Backpack, Backpack,” but I can’t come close to nailing that Dora voice.

      I really think we’ve got something here…


  2. I sat next to Elmore Leonard at a writing convention in the late 90’s. Carol Higgins Clark was on my other side. As we listened to Joseph Finder talk about his writing process, Leonard turned to me and said, “You want to really become a writer?” I gave an enthusiastic nod. “Then stop wasting money on these things, go home and write.” I took his advice and have never looked back. I can only imagine the money I saved in the process.


    1. Okay, I’m so stinkin’ jealous. I loooooooooooove Elmore Leonard. I was reading him last night. And to hear him say something that concurs with something I’ve believed for a while…? That makes it all the better.

      Thanks, Hunter. I’m grinning now. 🙂


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